HARLOW THEATRE COMPANY.
Many of Sir Alan Ayckbourn's plays, including Bedroom Farce, portray married relationships in various stages of disarray and Ayckbourn has often been asked whether his plays are autobiographical. It is true that he, the son of an orchestral violinist and a short story writer, witnessed his parents' protracted separation and his own first marriage ended after fourteen years. No surprise that his writing on the subject shows such personal insight then. Of Bedroom Farce, he commented that he saw a little of himself in all four of the men in the play!
Our production of Bedroom Farce tells of a catalogue of events in the lives of four couples on an evening, night and following morning some time in 1976. It explores the relationships within each of the marriages across a wide generation gap. Trevor and his wife Susannah, a battling couple, create havoc and bring out the underlying tensions between the three other 'happily married' husbands and wives. Broken communications, cheating, lying and bickering populate the play along with forgiveness and devotion, some of which might be soberingly familiar to our audience! Recognisable or not, the antics are all delivered under the anaesthetic of comedy so much loved in Ayckbourn's writing.
Is Bedroom Farce really a farce? Alan Ayckbourn confounded the critics by labelling this work as a farce when nearly all suggested that although it had some farcical elements it is perhaps better labelled a tragi-comedy. 'Classic' farce as established by Ben Travers in the 20's and 30's and Brian Rix's 'Whitehall' farces of the 50's and 60's contained unlikely plots, mistaken identities, feverish entries and exits, loss of clothing and masses of innuendo and double-entendres and character caught in flagrante! Bedroom Farce has few of these characteristics and Ayckbourn took great delight in questioning the insistence of some commentators in labelling his comedy genre as anything but good fun with some underlying messages.
Ernest - Paul Stephenson
Delia - Carol Parradine
Malcolm - Tyrone Samuels
Kate - Alyssa Upton
Nick - Paul Johnson
Jan - Jeanne Stacey
Trevor - Dan James
Susannah - Alex Appleton
Director – Barry Bowen
Production Manager - Paul Stephenson
Set Design – Brett Stevens
Lighting Design – Tom Richards
Sound Design – Paul Johnson
Costume Design – Jocelyn Johnson
Properties – Sarah Green and Helga Kilroy
Art Design – Paul Johnson
Stage Manager – Sam Stevens
Set Construction - Brett Stevens, Steve Dove, Leo Appleton,
Melissa Guest, Paul Johnson, Sarah Green, Eminay King, Tristan Featherstone
Production Photography - Mel Guest
Marketing – Mel Guest
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank our sponsors for their support throughout 2017.